The new Apple Pro Display XDR looks gorgeous. It has insane specs on paper and is likely well worth the hefty $5,000 starting price tag. But the strange thing about this professional stand is it doesn't come with a stand. Most people who buy one will likely have their own mount or stands available, but Apple is selling a "Pro stand" that fits this display for $999 — the same cost of the no-longer-available Apple Thunderbolt display. Since everyone is laughing at the absurdity of this stand, I thought it would be neat to see what kind of Windows PC we could build for the same price.
The H500 is NZXT's mid-range mid-tower PC case that provides excellent cable management, two included fans, dust screens, and a tempered-glass side panel to show off your hardware. It's also ready for water-cooling.
If you opt to go with AMD Ryzen for the great value offered per core, the ASUS Prime X470-Pro is a great motherboard. You get NVMe support with a heatsink to keep the drive cooled, Gigabit LAN, Fan Xpert 4, and great components for serious workloads. Plus, because we'll need a beastly GPU for this build, the anchored PCIe slot should help prevent card sag.
AMD's CPUs offer great value. For the price, the Ryzen 5 2600 is a six-core CPU with 12 threads, which is more than enough to play through most modern titles these days and get through most producivity tasks without issue. There's also room for overclocking should you invest in an aftermarket cooling solution, getting even more performance out of the processor.
Corsair's Vengeance LPX 3000 MHz DDR4 RAM comes in a dual 8GB configuration and will fit the ASUS motherboard without interfering with any other parts. Each stick is covered in an aluminum heat spreader for better dissipation, and it's black to match the rest of the hardware. A 32GB kit is also available if you need the additional headroom.
MSI's Ventus RTX 2060 isn't flashy, but it runs cool and delivers ray tracing and deep learning supersampling (DLSS) perks that are the main selling points of the RTX cards. It has 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, dual fans, and for output, it offers three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0b. It's perfect for playing games at 1080p settings.
M.2 PCIe SSD
Having an M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) onboard means crazy fast Windows 10 boots and otherwise outstanding performance (read speeds of beyond 3,000 MB/s) when loading apps. Samsung's EVO Plus is a solid storage drive and the 250GB option is more than enough for the OS, apps and other software you need.
While having an M.2 PCIe SSD on board for superior performance is recommended, adding an enormous HDD for bulk storage is also a great choice. M.2 SSDs quickly get expensive since you add more space, and for a lot of games, it just isn't necessary. This 1TB HDD from Seagate costs just less and is hidden out of sight by the NZXT case design.
The E-series PSUs leverage Seasonic internals alongside NZXT's CAM monitoring software. They keep the power flowing with high-quality hardware and a welcomed 10-year warranty. NZXT and Seasonic assemble a powerful duo for ATX-compatible PC power. Overlooking its sometimes-loud fan, this 500W PSU is great for both every day and enthusiast setups.
To stand or not to stand
The New Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are appealing, especially to Mac users, but the hefty $5,000 starting price tag (it goes up to $6,000 for a matte version) is a dealbreaker for most people. That's not even including the stand, which will set you back an extra $999. You certainly pay for what you get here, but we had to wonder what we could build for just the price of the stand alone.
This PC would set you back $1,040. It's perfect for 1080p gaming, but would require the addition of a monitor, peripherals and a Windows 10 license. Still, it provides an idea as to just how pricey this stand is for anyone looking to get the most from their budget.
Whether you agree with Apple's decision to launch a $999 stand alongside its impressive Pro XDR Display depends on how you view the product. Premium products such as this display are able to get away with incredibly pricey optional extras. Just look at the automobile industry and the price of options for a new McLaren supercar. Would you want an aluminum stand or a PC as powerful as the one we put together?
It all starts with the case. The NZXT H500 is a mid-tower with more than enough room to build this PC.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.